Get FootLoose to help fight Alzheimer’s

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 13, 2014

Would you like to have fun with shoes and support Alzheimer’s research at the same time? If the answer is yes, you have until Aug. 10 to submit art for the FootLoose project.
Brenda Zimmerman, a local artist and the director of life enrichment at Trinity Oaks health and rehab, started FootLoose back in 2010 with an exhibit at Waterworks Visual Arts Center. Now an annual affair, the fundraiser offers local artists and crafty folks an opportunity to embellish or create a shoe as a work of art, which is then sold at auction.
The pieces usually involve wordplay, with artists whimsically remaking a shoe to illustrate a theme or to make a visual pun. A piece titled “alligator shoe,” for example, might actually look like an alligator.
Participants can utilize any kind of shoe, from flip-flops to boots. A pair may be used, or a single shoe. The idea is to embellish the shoe while allowing something of the original shoe to show. There is no limit on sewing, gluing, quilting, beading, painting or decoupaging.
While most of the entries are actual shoes, whimsically remade, also welcome is more traditional two-dimensional art, such as paintings or photographs, that features shoes.
This year, for the first time, the FootLoose auction will be held online at The auction is already up and running with a few pieces, but art will continue to be accepted until Aug. 10. Completed art can be dropped off at Trinity Oaks health and rehab, 820 Klumac Road.
For an entry form and complete guidelines, go online to The auction will end Aug. 15, and the 50 items raising the most money will be exhibited at an open house at Trinity Oaks Aug. 21-22.
If you need some inspiration to create your own shoe-themed art to donate, check out Zimmerman’s items that are already posted online. Her creations include “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” a pair of real shoes decoupaged with road maps. One shoe is lined with the image of a healthy brain, and the other is lined with the image of a brain suffering from the effects of Alzheimer’s.
Another nifty pair of shoes was created around the theme of “Stamp Out Alzheimer’s.” This pair is decoupaged with several hundred cancelled postage stamps.
Then there’s “Footnote,” in which a working xylophone is integrated into a large work boot, with the plastic xylophone mallet attached. The boot itself is decoupaged with sheet music.
To get you started brainstorming, here are some ideas that could be translated into shoe art: Twinkle Toes, Cold Feet, Six Feet Under, Swept off My Feet, Walking in Memphis, Sassy Feet, Pigeon Toes, Stamp Your Feet, Hang Ten, Steel Toad Shoes, Fillet of Sole, Walking on Sunshine, Square Feet, Walking on the Clouds, Walking in Circles, Walk Like An Egyptian.
All money raised by the project will be added to the contribution made by the Trinity Oaks team participating in the 2014 Rowan Cabarrus Alzheimer’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in September.
If you have questions or need more information, call Brenda Zimmerman at 704-603-2770.
Katie Scarvey is a communications specialist with Lutheran Services Carolinas.